Četvrtak, 02 Decembar 2021 12:30

Auguste Rodin's inspiration for The Kiss

Trained in the traditions of eighteenth-century art, captivated by the works of Renaissance artist Michelangelo and fascinated by the works of classical Greece, Auguste Rodin broke the rules and the mold in many of his sculptures. Rodin's main inspiration for The Kiss comes from a literary source, and its classical composition was taken from classic sculptures of his time. He captures a tangible feeling of the psychology of love in the way the bodies of Paolo and Francesca for The Gates of Hell meld into one another, portraying the essence of complete passion.

The famous marble sculpture The Kiss from 1882 by the French sculptor Auguste Rodin represents a sensuality that shocked contemporaries. The embracing couple depicted in the sculpture was originally part of a group of reliefs adorning Rodin's monumental bronze portal known as The Gates of Hell, commissioned for the planned Art Museum in Paris. This couple was later removed because it depicted a positive state contradicting the overall tone of the Inferno gates. Rodin transformed the group into an independent work which the public called The Kiss and exhibited it with his Monument to Balzac in 1898. Today, the sculpture The Kiss is in the Rodin Museum in Paris, and it is still one of the most famous and most adored sculptures in the world.

The Kiss by Gustav Klimt depicts the two lovers outside of time and space through their passion and desire for one another. There is much debate about the identity of the man and woman in this painting. According to a widespread explanation, the man with a beard is Klimt's attempt to paint himself, which he rarely did. Some believe the woman may be Emilie Flöge, a close friend and his longtime companion. Others have posited that woman was salon hostess and society woman Adele Bloch-Bauer. There is another version that the sitter is very much similar to a famous model nicknamed Red Hilda. Some historians believe that The Kiss depicts the kiss between Apollo and Daphne or Orpheus and Eurydice in the Greek myths.

The Kiss by Gustav Klimt is one of the most iconic paintings from the Art Nouveau period. Klimt reached the apex of his signature style—a fusion of the linear compositions of Art Nouveau, the organic forms of the Arts and Crafts movement, and his interest in human passions. The couple on painting are entwined and their two figures and encompassed by a golden shroud, covered in gilded, Art Nouveau style patterns, creating a very sensual, atmospheric composition. Several other schools of art were an inspiration for this painting.

Gustav Klimt painted the final painting of his Gold Period, during which he incorporated gold leaf into his works, The Kiss in 1908 at a critical moment in his career. He had just received scathing criticism for his University of Vienna ceiling paintings, Philosophy, Medicine and Jurisprudence, and breaking away from the Secession. The Kiss was presented for the first time to the Viennese public at The Kunstschau exhibition organized around Klimt and colleagues which was received with fierce criticism and ended in financial disaster. Despite this, the exhibition initiated the astronomical success of The Kiss. The Viennese government bought the painting before the exhibition had ended, as it was deemed a national interest. Today, the painting is in the Austrian Gallery Belvedere in Vienna.

Jean-Honoré Fragonard's best-known painting The Swing, originally known as The Happy Accidents of the Swing, is encapsulating humor and joie de vivre of the Rococo. The identity of the patron who commissioned this painting has eluded art historians. French dramatist Charles Collé noted in October 1767 that artist Gabriel-François Doyen had met an unnamed 'gentleman of the Court' "in his pleasure house with his mistress". He was commissioned to paint his young mistress on a swing, pushed by a bishop with himself admiring her legs from below. Doyen, uneasy about taking on such an indecorous subject, suggested Fragonard who readily agreed. As it was, Fragonard replaced the bishop with the more traditional figure of a cuckolded husband, but otherwise fulfilled the commission almost to the letter.

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